Good handwashing techniques include washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Washing Hands Using Soap and Water
- Remove rings;
- Wet your hands with warm, running water and apply liquid soap;
- Lather well;
- Scrub all surfaces, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails;
- Rub hands together for 15- 20 seconds (sing “Happy Birthday” twice);
- With water running, dry hands with a paper towel;
- Use a paper towel to turn off the faucet;
- Dispose of paper towel.
Your Hands – Other Important Points
There are other things you can do to prevent the spread of infection:
- Keep nails short and clean;
- Do not wear fake nails, gel nails or nail extensions, because they can hide harmful germs;
- Leave at home because harmful germs can stick to jewelry.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are an excellent alternative to hand washing. However, it your hands are visibly soiled, wash with soap and water.
Washing Hands with an Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer.
- Apply ½ tsp of the sanitizer to the palm of your hand;
- Rub hands together, cover all surfaces of your hands until they are dry;
- Rub hands, palm to palm;
- Rub right palm over left-back of hand with interlaced fingers, and then switch;
- Rub palm to palm with interlaced fingers;
- Rub backs of fingers to opposite palm with fingers interlocked;
- In rotational motion, rub left thumb while clasping in the right palm, and then switch;
- In a rotational backward and forwards motion, rub left palm with clasped right fingers, and then switch;
- Grasp right wrist with the left hand; then switch.
Washing hands is the single most important measure to prevent contamination as well as the spread of infection.